Interrogation and recording of statements
- During the course of investigation, police can interrogate the doctor.
- Record statements of the attendants of the patient or hospital staff present at the time of operation or other persons who are supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.
Legal advice during police investigation
- At the time of his interrogation the doctor has a right to be permitted to meet his lawyer though not throughout the interrogation, as and when required and as per his request.
- The lawyer may not only be a witness of the manner and method of interrogation but also to the treatment which is meted out to the doctor who is interrogated but he may take appropriate steps for the purpose of protecting him if his right to life and personal liberty is imperiled by any act or omission of the interrogating officer.
- The communication with lawyer is privileged communication and even court / police can not ask for his witness in his own client's case.
- According to clauses (1) and (2) of Article 22 of the Constitution any person accused of an offence, or against whom proceedings are instituted under the Code of Criminal Procedure, may, of right, be defended by a pleader. It has been held that this provision not only contemplates that the accused should be at liberty to be defended by a pleader at the time the proceedings are actually going on, but also implies that he should have a reasonable opportunity, if in custody of the police, of getting into communication with his legal adviser for the purpose of preparing his defence. It has been further held that the accused should be given access to legal advice even while he is in police custody.
Searches and Seizures
- Police has a right to enter the hospital premises/operation theatre and get the operation theatre/ICU, equipment, etc., inspected by an expert concerned.
- According to the u/s 102 of Code of Criminal Procedure, investigating police officers may conduct searches with or without search warrants from a Magistrate.
- Whenever they do, they must be accompanied by 'at least two respectable inhabitants of the locality'.
- A memorandum enumerating all the items found and describing all that happened during the search is thereafter required to be drawn up and signed by these 'respectable inhabitants of the locality', known as the' Panchas '.
- The occupant of the place searched must in every instance, be permitted to attend during the search and a copy of the memorandum of articles seized must be delivered to him.
- The police can also get examined the surgical instruments which were used in the treatment/operation. Such instruments or equipment can also be seized by the police for being used as a piece of evidence in the event of filing a criminal case in the court.
- The police have also power to seize the record and documents by following the procedure prescribed under the u/s 102 of Code of Criminal Procedure
- During investigation police obtain but cannot compel the accused doctor to give his specimen writing or specimen signature for comparison with disputed writing or signatures.